Ghosting - Edith Pattou
I received an epub of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
I will admit that I am a little biased because I am not a huge fan of poetry novels—those framed like the Crank series. My general feeling is that they’re a big waste of paper and an attempt at a deeper meaning usually falls short, but I received this as an epub so the damage was not so devastating!
That being said, I liked it. It’s short and easily digestible and held my interest, but it wasn’t anything terribly intriguing. The summary on goodreads refers to it as “naturalistic free verse and stream of consciousness” and I’d say it was executed just about as well as you could expect. The book tells the story of a teenage prank gone wrong. It’s told from multiple perspectives and through that, you get the idea that everyone is unique and deals with things differently and plays a special role in the way things work out. The “uniquity” is made very blatant in the sense that you can visually see that these are different people because while the voice stays almost exactly the same (and all nine in first person), the lines are broken up differently or varied in literality. The most notable were merely cosmetic differences, such as one “voice” using a title at the beginning of each of her poems, while none of the others do.
The characters themselves were compelling in the sense that they were all very different from each other but changed by this one event in an almost Breakfast Club sort of way. The way the story is told, the foreshadowing makes it pretty clear what sort of *something* is going to happen, but not so transparent that I got bored or wanted to stop reading. It really bothered me that the author chose to include the dates of the events, because the time passing was significant, but didn’t make even a glossing over sort of mention to major holidays? My biggest complaint was mostly that I didn’t see who the intended audience of the poems was for—were these kids writing to themselves like in a journal format, were they writing for school, for a memoir, was there a conscious audience? At times it was very personal and at times it was oddly biographical, it just didn’t seem like there was a set style or intention guiding the whole thing.
I recommend Ghosting to young adult readers looking for a quick thrill, but as far as a new Halloween scare, I’m still on the look-out.